French batsman breaks T20I world record with impressive century

The third sub-regional qualifying tournament of Europe T20 World Cup 2024 has broken a world record in Finland.
At 18 years and 280 days, French leadoff batsman Gustav McKeon became the youngest male player to score a T20I hundred, bowling five fours and nine sixes in a 61-ball 109 against Switzerland in Vantaa.

McKeon broke Hazratullah Zazai’s dasher record by more than two years, with 162* in Afghanistan’s first 62-ball match against Ireland in 2019 scored at 20 years and 337 days.

McKeon’s innings supported a gutsy 54-ball 76 against the Czech Republic, and the teenager leads the tournament in runs, with his tally of 185 coming in at a strike rate of 161 and an average of 92.50. Despite the century, McKeon’s France couldn’t finish the job, losing one last ball of suspense to their neighbors who chased a target of 158.

Swiss skipper Faheem Nazir led at the top of the order with a 46-ball 67, with Ali Nayyer’s late exploits securing victory at the last gasp. Nayyer bowled 12 of the last three balls, including a last-ball four to break the hearts of the French, meaning the pair find themselves tied on two points in group stage action. Norway leads Group 2 thanks to two resounding wins over the Czech Republic and Estonia, and the pair have yet to take off.

In Group 1, Austria and Guernsey remain unbeaten, with Luxembourg winless in two matches. Bulgaria and Slovenia are yet to taste victory, but they meet in action on Wednesday.

Guernsey are favorites to top their group, although the Channel Islanders were pushed by Luxembourg to a 17-run win. Luxembourg’s Shiv Gill claimed Man of the Match honors with a 38-ball 47, but his effort fell into a vein when closer William Peatfield converted the match with three wickets.

The winner of the third sub-regional tournament will join Denmark, Italy, Jersey and Germany in the Europe Qualifier next year, as well as the European teams that fail to secure 2024 qualification until the 2022 tournament: Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland.

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